The arena is eight per cent over budget. The new price tag is $485 million, well above the limit of $450 million. This is where the cutting comes in. Rick Daviss who's overseeing the project for the city says they'll use polished concrete on the floor instead of marble, stainless steel instead of zinc on the exterior, and they'll cut something popular with those visiting the open houses, the L-E-D lighting outside, something Daviss says gave the arena the appearance of motion."Which is an impact," Daviss told a packed news conference at City Hall. "One of the things the people said when they reviewed the design was, we want to have the street activated, we want to make it exciting, we want to make it vibrant and that's taking one of those elements out." Also gone from the design is the Oilers store, which Daviss says the team agrees with since there will be retail space close by. It can go there. The price at the concept stage still has a twenty per cent plus and minus factor. Construction costs will be key."They are a little bit higher than we had hoped. If we can stick to the schedule and get this through council by early in the new year we think we'll still be in line. If there's going to be a further delay, that's going to be a significant impact." Councillor Kim Krushell thinks they can hit the target. But it all depends on Darryl Katz. "If there's things in the design that we'll look at that he really wants that are going to cost a lot more money than $450 million dollars, then the question we'll put to him is are you willing to pay for that?" (sj, lk)
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